Qatar's World Cup of Shame Opening Day Humiliation
by Stephen Lendman
For a day at least, rogue state Qatar got a taste of comeuppance.
After spending over $200 billion to host the 2022 World Cup, a work in progress for over a decade…
After grievously mistreating around 100,000 migrant workers — imported to build needed facilities and infrastructure — by forcibly holding them in bondage as virtual slave labor for 14 - 18 hours daily…
After a reported 6,500 workers perished from brutal exploitation and abuse, including lack of enough food and water…
After housing them in cramped, filthy, vermin-infested quarters…
After the regime flagrantly abused their human and civil rights in virtually all respects, including illegal recruitment fees up to $4,000, wage theft and ill-treatment of injuries…
After confiscating their passports and denying them permission to return home while still needed as slave labor…
After FIFA turned a blind eye and deaf ear to years of abuses in preparation for the 2022 World Cup…
After responding to legitimate grievances with threats…
After producing a World Cup of shame to revile and condemn…
Opening day Sunday made history — the wrong way for the House of Thani dictatorship.
The first regional country to host the World Cup became the first one to lose its opening game.
Superior Ecuador players trounced the home team.
According to FanNation, Qatar's national team trained for Sunday's moment since September.
Hoping "to impress on their first ever (World Cup) appearance, (they'll) need to play (much) better…to avoid becoming the first ever host nation to claim zero points."
Qatari fans were displeased.
According to the WSJ:
The home team "opened the World Cup with a damp squib on the pitch and confusion away from it" — to thousands of empty seats after halftime.
Despite a likely exaggerated attendance of over 67,000, Al Bayt Stadium was half empty for the final 45 minutes of Sunday's match.
On opening day, a letter to the London Observer asked:
"Will this World Cup mark the end of football as we know it?"
"If the answer to the question is yes, then good riddance to the evils of sportswashing" — a practice to burnish reputations tarnished by wrongdoing.
And this from the London Guardian:
Hoping for an auspicious start to the 2022 World Cup, host country Qatar "flopped, left for dust by a stronger and cannier Ecuador unit."
And a "frazzled Qatar team fluff(ed) their lines on the World Cup's surreal opening night."
Al Bayt Stadium where Qatar played its opening match is "a vast and trunkless thing…a monstrosity, constructed beyond any reasonable sense of scale, a grotesque and needless monument to human vanity," a mausoleum — built on a foundation of blood, sweat, exploitation and thousands of deaths.
AFP highlighted "swathes of empty seats on Sunday."
According to Australia's 7News:
"Qatar made unwanted history as the first World Cup host to lose the opening match — but that wasn't the only great ignominy."
"Thousands of empty seats (were visible) as Qatari fans (walked out) at half-time."
And this from SuperSport.com:
"Empty seats t(old the) story as Qatar's World Cup party f(ell) flat."
The London Telegraph said the World Cup began "amid an atmosphere of snarling, angry defiance."
A FIFA statement said some fans couldn't access their tickets "via the FIFA Ticketing app."
According to fake news by Qatari-owned and controlled Al Jazzera:
"Workers who made the World Cup happen (can) now enjoy the games (sic)."
Reporting on the host country's opening day loss, Al Jazeera failed to explain that Qatar was first one to lose its opening game.
Nor did it explain the half empty stadium after thousands of fans walked out at half-time.
Instead, it criticized Britain's owned and controlled BBC for not "air(ing) the World Cup's opening ceremony on its main coverage program…relegat(ing) coverage to second-tier streams."
As a previous day's article explained, Al Jazeera transformed its Sunday newscasts into a World Cup promotional commercial — selling what flopped on opening day.
And this from London's Mail Online, saying:
"World Cup fans "slam(med) 'sellout' (actor) Morgan Freeman for taking Qatar's 'blood money' (to host Sunday's) opening ceremony" — calling him a "Qatari sleeper agent."
Saying "(w)e all gather here in one big tribe," Freeman ignored Qatari ruthlessness in preparation for what began on Sunday, continuing through Dec. 18.
On the eve of Qatar's World Cup of shame, FIFA's president Gianni Infantino recited his own lines of shame, saying:
"Today I have very strong feelings (sic)."
"Today I feel Qatari (sic)."
"Today I feel Arab (sic)."
"Today I feel African (sic)."
"Today I feel gay (sic)."
"Today I feel disabled (sic)."
"Today I feel a migrant worker (sic)."
"I feel like them because I know what it feels like to be discriminated (sic), to be bullied as a foreigner in a country (sic)."
Rambling on at length with similar rubbish, Infantino became FIFA president in Feb. 2016.
Throughout his tenure, he failed to address and act against Qatar's exploitation and oppression of migrant workers.
Defying reality instead, he falsely called criticism of his actions "hypocriti(cal)."
He dismissed the enormous price paid by migrant workers to make the 2022 Qatari World Cup possible.
Migrant worker advocacy group's Nick McGeehan called his remarks "crass (and) clumsy."
Prioritizing profits and spectacle on the world stage like host country Qatar, Infantino paid lip service alone to migrant worker rights — what he's been indifferent toward since becoming FIFA president.